His vehicle - Lightsquared - owned a bunch of satellite spectrum. It was zoned for satellite - allowed to be used for low powered devices that did not interfere with users of adjacent spectrum.
He got its use changed - so that he could use it for high powered devices - that is a terrestrial LTE network. There was a condition. That his devices did not interfere with adjacent devices - namely GPS receivers.
This condition was clear right from the start.
Tests were conducted to see whether Phil's network would interfere with the GPS system.
And it did. And how. The devices could jam GPS at many miles range.
OK - so Phil was not allowed to build his LTE network.
He still owns satellite spectrum. What he started with. The FCC took nothing from him.
But he wants the FCC to give him spectrum he is allowed to use - spectrum more valuable than the stuff he previously owned.
“They can’t just leave us without some alternative to build a network,” said Jeff Carlisle, Lightsquared's EVP for regulatory affairs and public policy, at a briefing with media on Friday.
Yes they can. And they should. Of course I could lobby the FCC to get them to give me 10-20 billion dollars worth of spectrum I am not entitled to.
I could. But I am not that brazen.
If the government wants to give away that much spectrum they should auction it and the money should be used for the benefit of all taxpayers (say by paying off debt).
Make no mistake about it. If you are an American taxpayer Phil Falcone is trying to loot assets that rightly belong to you.
You should not let him. And you should despair if he gets away with it.